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President Weah Should Commit to Real Progress, Back War Crimes Court

Liberia’s justice minister, Frank Musa, gave a misleading statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council on March 17 regarding the government’s purported efforts to ensure much-needed justice for widespread atrocity crimes committed during the…
The 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
News

20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
News

UN General Assembly an Opportunity to Advance War Crimes Court

One year ago, Liberian President George Weah gave hope to victims of brutal crimes committed during the country’s civil wars when he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly about pursuing a war crimes court for Liberia. He said consultations…
Liberia's President George Manneh Weah addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 25, 2019.
News

Ensure Transparency, End Institutional Care

Serbia has taken a positive step to better protect people from Covid-19 by agreeing to release data on the total number of Covid-19 infections and deaths inside social care institutions. People inside institutions are some of the most at-risk during…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

Lead Poisoning Victims Await Justice, Compensation

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration at the United Nations. October 24 is United Nations Day, marking the day the UN Charter officially came into effect in 1945. The Charter includes the commitment to protect human rights. But on the…
Houses in Kosovo
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Impunity Hampers Sustainable Peace

This week marks 20 years since the end of the Kosovo war. What began as systematic Serbian state oppression led to attacks by an ethnic Albanian armed group, a vicious government response, and 78 days of NATO airstrikes. …
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UN Committee Finds New Evidence of Violence in Institutions

A recent review of Serbia finds that the government is failing to protect women with disabilities in institutions from violence. In its report, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) also…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News
  Liberia’s history has been punctuated by periods of profound social upheaval underscored by injustice and serious human rights violations. These dynamics in large part led to two devastating civil wars in the last 30 years. This…
Supporters of George Weah attend a meeting during their party's presidential campaign rally at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, Liberia December 23, 201
News

Roma Were Exposed to Toxic Lead in UN-Run Camps

  Yesterday, 55 Members of the European Parliament wrote to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, expressing dismay at the UN’s failure to remedy harm inflicted on ethnic minorities in northern Kosovo following the end of the war…
News

European MPs Launch Warning Ahead of Possible Vote

The European Union (EU)’s efforts to finalize a free trade deal with Vietnam are at risk because of Vietnam’s poor human rights record. In a joint letter sent this week, 32 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) raised a…
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News

Government Pledges Statement on Accountability, but More is Needed

Liberia inched closer to justice for war crimes this week. During an appearance before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva on Monday, the Liberian delegation pledged – for the first time – to issue a public statement on…
Supporters of George Weah attend a meeting during their party's presidential campaign rally at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, Liberia December 23, 201
News

Use Trade Pact to Demand Rights Improvements

Cecilia Malmström, the European Union’s trade commissioner, will hold talks on Monday with Trần Tuấn Anh, Vietnam’s trade and industry minister, about concluding a long negotiated Free Trade Agreement. Based on the EU Commission’s…
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium June 1, 2018.
News

A Chilling Warning to Supporters and Dissidents

A Vietnam court sentenced activist Tran Thi Nga on Tuesday to nine years in prison followed by five years under house arrest for spreading “anti-State propaganda.” The conviction was handed down during a one-day trial – a swift and…
Tran Thi Nga protests against the arrest of blogger “Mother Mushroom” in October 2016.
News

Roma Afflicted with Lead Poisoning in UN-Run Camps

The United Nations may be undermining its own efforts to promote human rights, at a time when rights are under threat worldwide. That’s the view of a UN panel of experts, which investigated complaints of human rights violations by…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug Camp outside Trepca mine, on the outskirts of Mitrovica, June 22, 2009.
News

Body Ignores Own Advice to Give Clear Apology for Tragedy that was UN’s Fault

It looked like justice for Kosovo’s lead-poisoning victims was finally within reach. Former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson convened a meeting in December 2016, just as he and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were preparing to hand the…
News

Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
News

Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
News

Enact Proposed Law to Protect Rural Communities

Liberia is on the cusp of passing a historic law that would strengthen the rights of rural communities to land on which they have lived and worked for generations – much of which has recently been acquired by large-scale commercial acquisitions. The…
Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (L) smiles during a meeting at City Hall in Monrovia, January 30, 2013.